Brooks Run Happy team members Anastasia and Ashley tell us how they started running and their goals this year
How did you get into running?
Anastasia Murphy: My running journey first started in 2017 when I got a charity place in the 2018 London Marathon (jeez, that was hot!) as I wanted to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society in memory of my late Grandma.
Ashley Fraser: I started running in 2017 when I secured a place in the 2018 London Marathon. I couldn’t even run 3K at that point, so I wondered how on earth was I going to run 26.2 miles?! The eight-month journey was incredible.
What other races have you done?
AM: Since 2017, I’ve done eight half-marathons and two marathons. I’m about to complete my third marathon, a virtual race around Milton Keynes. I’m hoping to get to as close to four hours as possible.
AF: I’ve done one marathon, eight half marathons and multiple 10Ks. Nothing beats the atmosphere of a race day! When I cross the finish line, I always feel overwhelmed and elated that I finished.
Of which race are you most proud?
AM: I’m proud of the 2018 London Marathon, because I raised £4,500 for Alzheimer’s Society. But I’m also proud of the sense of community that developed from the fundraising and how, through running, I’ve made so many new friends.
AF: London Marathon, without a doubt! The atmosphere was electric! People were dancing on the streets, children were handing out Jelly Babies to the runners, the fire service were spraying water hoses… It was one of the best days of my life.
How do you fit running in?
AM: At the start of each week I like to look ahead and then fit my runs in around life, work and socialising. That way, heading out for a run never feels like a chore. For most of this year, I’ve had a coach and have been following a marathon training plan, plus I’ve been working from home in lockdown, so I’ve found a new love for lunch-break running!
AF: I’m coached by Purdue Performance [led by the brilliant Charlotte Purdue] which makes planning my sessions easy as my coach sets my weekly schedule. All I need to do is show up. I’ve seen a huge improvement in my running since having my own coach.
What’s your favourite piece of running kit?
AM: My Brooks Hyperion Tempo running trainers, without a doubt! They are so light and I feel like I’m flying in them – they recently gave me a 5K PB!
AF: I love my Brooks Glycerin running shoes, they are my go-to for any run. I also love to run with my Garmin Forerunner 235 which is great for tracking my stats and PBs. Lastly, my Salomon hydration vest for longer runs.
What goals do you have for 2021?
AM: My no.1 goal for 2021 is to get out and run with more people and more friends. We’ve all spent so much time running alone in 2020 and it’s made me realise how important the social elements of running are to me.
AF: My main focus is the UltraX Azores125 in April, where I will run 125km over two days. The second ultra is 100K with Race to the Stones in July. I’m also signed up for Manchester marathon in April and Trail Pursuit marathon in May.
What has running taught you?
AM: Running has changed my life. I used to think that running and fitness were only there to change your body. I never considered that it was there to make you feel good and improve your health, both physically and mentally.
AF: Running has taught me to push boundaries and achieve what I never thought was possible. Running is a mindset, an escape, a challenge, a way to achieve the impossible.
About Anastasia and Ashley
Anastasia is a 26-year old product manager who has completed several half and full marathons, currently chasing a goal of sub-4 hours. Ashley is a happy runner and an adventure lover. After successfully completing her first marathon in 2018, she quickly fell in love with the sport and is currently training for two ultra marathons in 2021. Anastasia and Ashley are part of the Brooks Run Happy team.